News / Europe

Ukraine's PM to Meet With Obama

Ukraine's PM Meets With Obamai
X
March 12, 2014 4:08 AM
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday, days before a referendum in Crimea where a Russian-speaking majority is likely to bring the strategic peninsula under Moscow's control. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Zlatica Hoke
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is meeting with President Barack Obama Wednesday, days before a referendum in Crimea where a Russian-speaking majority is likely to bring the strategic peninsula under Moscow's control. Analysts say the meeting will not stop the referendum, which is set for Sunday, but warn of the urgency of stopping Russia from moving on to other Russian-populated regions of the former Soviet Union. 
 
Russia has made it clear that a flurry of diplomatic activity ahead of the Sunday referendum will have little effect on its plans to take control of the Crimean region.  Washington-based political analyst Peter Eltsov said that no matter what official name it will assume, Crimea is lost to Ukraine. He added Ukraine has to fight to prevent any Russian attempt to move further.
 
"It's the biggest fear of the new Ukrainian government and it is quite likely - depending of course on the political situation - that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will try to go to certain parts of eastern Ukraine.  We need to remember that there is no direct by-land connection between Russia and the Crimean peninsula," said Eltsov.
 
Stephen Blank, an analyst with the American Foreign Policy Council, agreed. He also placed blame on the European Union for a lax response to Russia's move to take over the strategic peninsula. 
 
"There have been no real organized economic sanctions on Russia; there have been no systematic strategic military actions to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself; and if I were Mr. Putin I would think I’ve gotten away with it.  I don’t think he will in the end, but I think up till now there has been too little action, and whatever action there has been, has been uncoordinated," said Blank.
 
Yatsenyuk's visit to Washington has another significant purpose; Eltsov said the interim government in Kyiv needs U.S. economic support to survive, and the political support to block Moscow from advancing further into Ukraine's territory. Eltsov added that for now, Russian-speaking populations in eastern Ukraine seem to reject Russian intervention, but that the mood can quickly change.
 
"The identity really is a fluid category, as anthropolgists say. It depends on the situation, in particular in case of war like we saw, for example, in the former Yugoslavia.  Those issues can really change and switch between sides really fast - overnight - depending on rumors, depending on particular political developments.  This is a very dangerous situation," said Eltsov.
 
Eltsov also said Putin seems intent on reviving some of the former Russian Empire as his legacy, and if he is not stopped, he will attempt to bring back under Moscow's control other Russian-populated areas, for example in Kazakhstan.
 
"It is not impossible that given the political situation he would want to take a chunk of northern Kazakhstan, which is populated mostly by Russians. But that would be, of course, a much more difficult enterprise," said Eltsov.
 
Eltsov said the best guarantee against Russian aggression is a NATO presence in vulnerable areas. He thinks Russia is not likely to invade NATO members Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, despite their sizeable Russian-speaking populations. 
 
"The country which is not militarily allied and has a very weak military of its own, and is in such financial chaos, is definitely a very easy target," said Eltsov.
 
Last week, the U.S. government authorized sanctions, including visa restrictions, against those found to have violated Ukraine's territorial integrity. The European Union also took measures against Russia, suspending talks on visas and a new economic agreement.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Simonzee1 from: Australia
March 13, 2014 2:58 AM
Obama needs to get in first. He wants to be the chief puppeteer before the E.U tries to pull the strings. He should tell him that he cannot trust the C.I.A as even the American Senate cannot. What will we see next... the waterboarding of Senators?

by: Mario from: Germany
March 12, 2014 2:33 AM
EU seems to approve Russian incursion in any part of world but EU. Europe,especially Germany,has a strong economic ties with Russia,so Ukraine is not worth of breaking it up. But very soon, Germany, EU and America will find out that they are under threat... Russia will not stop. How can EU and America trade with Russia when Russia declared it would confiscate all firms and property of EU and USA in case of sanctions???

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs